Canning Plum Sauce – Recipe

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4+ pints 1x
  • Category: Canning
  • Method: Canning
  • Cuisine: Asian American


Adapted from the Ball Book of Canning



  • 2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 TBSP finely chopped seeded green chili pepper (I used red pepper flakes – 1 TBSP)
  • 2 TBSP mustard seeds
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped gingerroot
  • 10 cups finely chopped pitted plums


  1. In a large stainless steel saucepan combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, onion, chili pepper (I use red pepper flakes) mustard seeds, salt, garlic and gingerroot.
  2. Add the cider vinegar. Cook over med-high heat. Let the mixture come to a boil.
  3. Add the plums and return to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat and let the mixture cook until it thickens and becomes syrupy. Cook for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours I just let it simmer until it’s to a consistency I like.
  5. While the mixture is cooking get your canner and jars ready. The jars need to be hot when the plum sauce is poured into them. The book indicates that the recipe should make 4 pints but I’ve always ended up with more than that. This time I made one and a half recipes and I ended up with 7 1/2 pints.
  6. Ladle the hot sauce into the hot jars leaving 1/2″ headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw on band to fingertip tight.
  7. Place jars in canner making sure they are covered with at least 2″ of water. Bring to a boil and process 20 minutes (adjust for altitude – I add 5 minutes to my processing time.) Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove jars from canner.


The prep time on this is somewhat fluid. It really depends on how big your plums are and how quickly you can pit and chop them. I put in the time it took me for the plums here which, as you can see from the photo are relatively small. Plus getting the canner and jars ready and preparing the other ingredients. It IS a bit of a guesstimate.

The cook time includes the time to reduce the plum sauce and the time to process in the canner

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